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The Ga Language

Ga is the language of the Ga people who live in south-eastern Ghana, mainly in and around the capital city of Accra. The population of the Ga people is roughly 600,000 or about 3.4% of the population of Ghana.

Ga is a Kwa language and along with Adangme (also known as Adangbe, Dangbe and Dangme), it forms the Ga-Adangme branch of the Kwa languages of West Africa. The Kwa languages are spoken in the south-eastern part of Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and the south-western corner of Nigeria.

Ga and Adangme are two separate but related languages which evolved over time from one common ancestral language which originated from the Togo/Benin area. As the people who spoke this language migrated westwards into what is now the country of Ghana, their language and culture became influenced by people from other African tribes with whom they came into contact. In the case of the Ga who settled in Accra, their language became influenced first by the Guan and later by various Akan tribes such as the Fante, the Akwamu and the Asante. In the case of the Adangme who settled to the east of the Ga, their language became influenced by the Ewe. As each group interacted and assimilated more and more with its neighbours through trade, warfare and other consequences of close contact, the two languages drifted further and futher apart from each other. There are several Akan words which have entered the Ga language, and likewise there are several Ga words which have entered the Akan language.

Ga was first written by Christian Jacobsen Protten, who was the son of a Danish soldier and an African woman, in about 1764. The orthography has been revised a number of times since 1968, with the most recent review in 1990.

The writing system is a Latin-based alphabet and has 26 letters.

The Ga alphabet is: Aa, Bb, Dd, Ee, Ɛɛ, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Ŋŋ, Oo, Ɔɔ, Pp, Rr, Ss, Tt, Uu, Vv, Ww, Yy, Zz

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